Recently Apple Inc. (NASDAQ:AAPL) has been targeting bitcoin apps right and left, and some have speculated that the company sees the digital currency as a threat to its future in the payments industry. But is this really true? It’s interesting to note that the company has removed yet another bitcoin payment app from the App Store. This time, it is Gliph, which posted a blog about it.
Gliph differs from other bitcoin apps
Matthew Panzarino of TechCrunch explains the differences between Gliph and the other bitcoin apps Apple Inc. (NASDAQ:AAPL) has rejected recently. As with the other rejections, Apple cited section 22.1 of its App Store review guidelines. That section states that apps “must comply with all legal requirements” in any geographical locations where users can access them.
Of course bitcoins themselves are not illegal, but governments also do not officially recognize them as a currency.
Gliph isn’t a bitcoin wallet
Rob Banagale of Gliph told TechCrunch that rather than being a bitcoin wallet, as the other apps rejected by Apple Inc. (NASDAQ:AAPL) are, their app simply connects with bitcoin wallets, passing along “requests for wallet addresses” to the wallets and then back again. Gliph itself doesn’t deal with bitcoin exchanges, and it does not recommend which wallet its users use. As a result, Banagale says they aren’t directly manipulating bitcoins.
It also means that Gliph facilitates bitcoin transactions rather than actually processing them. Either Apple Inc. (NASDAQ:AAPL) doesn’t get it, or this isn’t enough to set Gliph apart from other bitcoin apps.
More speculation about Apple and payments
Banagale joined others in speculating that Apple may be aiming to join the payments industry by leveraging its massive iTunes credit card database. This means the company’s rejection of bitcoin apps makes more sense. However, TechCrunch thinks it’s unlikely that Apple will do this, although the company certainly isn’t advocating use of the digital currency.
The site also notes that Google Inc (NASDAQ:GOOG) is not following Apple in rejecting bitcoin apps, at least at this point. The company does have similar rules about the legality of apps on Google Play. However, the decision not to narrowly define these rules to use them to reject bitcoin apps appears to suggest lenience or even “optimism,” according to Banagale, about bitcoins’ future.